temple of jerusalem

I’m seeing a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the protests in Jerusalem right now.

People are oversimplifying it into simply a matter of “metal detectors”, and while they certainly are at the center of the issue, it’s much deeper than that.

If the metal detectors were a matter of “security”, why are they being installed at the entrance to Masjid al-Aqsa, where only Muslims will enter to pray at the Aqsa mosque, and not at the Dung Gate where the gunmen stormed through, or the Damascus gate, the main entrance to the Old City? If this was about “security”, why allow the entrance through which the two men stormed through to remain “insecure”?

If Palestinians are out to attack Israeli soldiers & police……..they’re going to do it outside of al-Aqsa grounds, as they have before….so it makes -zero- sense to only install the detectors there, other than to further control and limit Palestinian movement.

Further, the Old City in Hebron used to be a thriving district, full of tourists, shops and people. After an Israeli stormed the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of the Patriarchs and massacred 30 innocent Palestinian worshippers….metal detectors were placed in the PALESTINIAN quarters. People protested, but ultimately they remained and that became the new status quo. Little by little, expanding outwards from those first few metal detectors at the Palestinian entrances, Israel installed more and more checkpoints, “security measures”, and queue lanes.

Today, the Old City of Hebron which was once thriving, full of people and businesses, and a major tourist attraction, now looks like this:

Israeli “security measures” continuously encroached more and more on the Palestinian areas, until they were shuttered and taken over by Israeli settlers.

Now it’s a ghost town, Palestinians can barely move around as we are stuck behind massive gates, checkpoints, and fences, while Israelis roam freely on what was once Palestinian land, living in homes stolen from Palestinians, something that all started with a couple of measly metal detectors meant for “security”.

If there’s one thing Israel is good at, it’s downplaying the severity of a situation they’re responsible for, and exaggerating incidents against them.

These “few metal detectors” in Jerusalem aren’t about security, they’re about giving Israel a foothold to expand their absolute control and domination of Palestinian movement and eventually take over the Palestinian district of the Old City as they have in Hebron.

Israelis have long desired to take over the area of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount, and if history in Hebron and elsewhere is anything to go by, Palestinians are absolutely right to be outraged at Israel’s attempt to get their foot in the door with these metal detectors.

i wish people understood the context in which there were merchants selling animals inside the temple.

when the temple was still standing there were certain times in a jewish persons life where they were required to go there and make a certain sacrifice. if x happened to you, you had to sacrifice a dove, if you did y, you had to go sacrifice a lamb, this was an extremely elaborate tradition of sacrificial requirements. and certain things would be like “if he is too poor to afford to sacrifice a sheep for this he can do 2 doves instead” everything was spelled out and these were just. it was part of being jewish. certain things you did, certain things that happened to you or to your family, you went to the temple and made a sacrifice.

to sacrifice an animal to hashem it had to be perfect, and you had to own it yourself for your sacrifice to count. so rather than having everybody from all over traveling to the temple with like their 3 best oxen in tow to have the kohanim at the temple then say “yes you can sacrifice this one” or “no these all suck go back and get a better ox”. you had some dudes hanging out at the temple selling preapproved sacrificial animals. so that when i come in from 65 miles out of town after five or six days hard journey. i can just purchase one of them (the purchase is important, it means i own the animal) and sacrifice it. and you had money changers hanging out at the same location because if you were from far enough out of town you would literally use different coins back home than in jerusalem.

you cant just put that stuff outside the temple because theres not just endless room in front of the temple on the streets of jerusalem, and if you put it in another location in the city your out of towners arent going to know where it is.

so when yall are like “jesus cleansed the temple of the capitalists” you have to understand what he did was show up and out of nowhere, for no real reason, bust up the system that was allowing people to fulfill their religious obligations as jews even if they didnt live in town. and tbh to frame this as “jesus smiting the evil capitalists” with the history of how antisemitism frames jews and money…is less than great

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. - Zechariah 4:10
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It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring photographer, business owner, or you’re desiring more recognition at your work, or approval from your family, God wants to use you, small beginnings and all.
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It doesn’t matter what you have or haven’t accomplished by now. Now is not the time to look down on yourself or lose faith in what God can do. Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t stop journaling and writing down those things that you want to do to bring Him glory!
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This verse is a part of one of the eight visions God gave to the prophet Zechariah where He would reveal to Zechariah His plan for Israel. This vision here was about Zerubbabel, who was the head of the tribe of Judah and the one who would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. What’s important to know is that while the temple needed to be built, it didn’t happen right away. The foundation was laid down, but it took years for the temple to be finished.
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Remember this in your life. It’s okay if you haven’t made the progress you thought you would have made by now. Don’t despise where you are right now. Keep trusting God because there is more ahead!
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It doesn’t matter if you work at a coffee shop or a law firm, understand that God uses every single day of your life to work together for good. Even when your tasks at work seem mundane, or customers or clients are wearing you down, you’re getting stronger in these moments. Day by day, God is refining you and preparing you for what is ahead.
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So keep planting seeds. Even when no one is looking. Even when you’re being overlooked. Because even if no one supports you or stands by you, God sees those that are being faithful and He honors that. He sees those who aren’t doing things for their own selfish gain and He blesses that.
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Those seeds will grow.
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Keep planting.
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Written by @morganhnichols for #TheDevoCo

anonymous asked:

I recently found out that Jewish prayer has been illegal at the Temple Mount, but is the Western Wall considered a part of that? I started looking into it today so I'm really confused. How can Jewish prayer be illegal at the holiest Jewish site?

Hi there,

This is pretty strange, no?

There are many factors that play into this decision and I will try to be as concise as possible in answering.

Factor #1: Jewish Law
According to some interpretations of Halacha (Jewish law), it is illegal for a Jew to even be on the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary until the Messiah comes. But many Jews disagree. Dati Leumi (Religious Zionists) who use Zionism to enhance their Jewish identity argue that we should rebuild the Third Temple and should have a presence on the Temple Mount/ Noble Sanctuary. More liberal Jews (namely the Reform and Conservative Movements) have chosen to take a more nuanced approach to the situation. Although it shouldn’t be against our understanding of Jewish Law to be or even pray on the Temple Mount, this doesn’t really matter to us. Islam has made a home atop the mount, and we care more about maintaining a positive political situation (and learning about it from atop the site) than wishing to spark any international wars.

Factor 2: The Political Situation
The Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary is not maintained by the Palestinian Authority, but by the Jordanian Waqf and kind of by Israel in a situation that everyone involved refers to as the “status quo” (ie. nothing is to be changed atop the mountain). As of right now, only Muslims are allowed to pray and bring their symbols, holy books, holy items etc atop the site. Although Jews and Christians are allowed to visit through a different entrance during specific hours, they should be visiting as tourists and not worshipers.

One can argue that this is a major injustice to Jews and Christians- and I would have to agree with you. I believe that anyone and everyone should be able to pray and be themselves at this historic and beautiful site. But that being said, we need to look at the political situation for guidance in making what can be arguably an incorrect move on this crazy chess board. Both Intifadas (and the recent knife-intifada) began following rumors that Israel was changing the status quo on the Temple Mount. Israel always tends to be very careful in regard to maintaining the status quo- even if often many Muslim worshipers rightfully so are scared of losing their spiritual home.

Will we ever see shared prayer atop the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary? Gosh, I hope so. One day when we have real peace, I’m sure that we will see some of the most magical things in the world.

Until then, here are some links to inspire you :)

https://www.facebook.com/tagmeirisrael/

https://www.facebook.com/nasdaily/?fref=ts

Enjoy ! And let’s pray for peace!

PJ

On Demonology
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I wrote this for my friends awhile ago and thought it may be of interest to some people. This is just a brief explanation on the subject of demonology, a topic of interest that I have been studying for quite some time now. It is in no way meant to convince or discourage anyone from studying demonology for themselves, and I encourage skepticism and constructive criticism where appropriate. I am simply publishing this article to shine some light upon what otherwise may be a rather confusing subject matter. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are a lot of other similar topics to consider – fallen angels, watchers, Jinn, there are so many different cultural interpretations of “demons” that you can look into. For this, I mainly focus on the Ars Goetia.

I study demons, I believe in actively trying to invoke and evoke them. The typical reaction to such a concept is fear or loathing, but this is because the common interpretation of demonology is one which lacks any insight into the realm of etymology – people fear the very word “demons” as though all of them are the same, as though they have no history, as though they are just utterly representative of evil incarnate. The general conception of demonology is therefore one which lacks insight into spirituality, the occult, and even linguistics.

Let’s begin with the issue of the very word demon. It is derived from the Greek word, Daimon, which simply means a spirit or divine power, much like the Latin words Genius (similar to a guardian angel) and Nurmen (divine will). Further, the Greek word Eudaimonia literally translates to “happiness” and “welfare” and “human flourishing,” and another Greek word, Agathodaemon, translates to “noble spirit.” Daemons in much of classical mythology are simply godlike or divine spirits; this is all to say that most demons are neutral or even positive in their essence.

So where does the idea that demons are innately evil beings come from? From linguistics and an understanding of antiquity, there are indeed spirits associated with what we could typically think of as modern day demons: A Cacodemon is for example is one such negative type of demon and it is once again a Greek concept. With the rise of Abrahamic faiths such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, many older entities deemed as Pagan idols were cast into a negative light. The Cannanite Baal (or Ba'al) was once a title meaning “Lord” and was associated with solar worship, but the more zealous Abrahamic faiths took over and erased culture from history, this title alone began to mean something more sinister, as the church demonized all Pagan deities.

A brief matter to consider before progressing: There is quite an interesting history to be found in the treatment of Pagan imagery and symbolism as it pertains to Christianity, as some of the themes, motifs, visuals, etc. they use even to this day actually originated with and/or have strong associations with Paganism and likewise, it is advised for those who would like to know more about such matters to look into early schools of Gnosticism, which shares some connections to Christianity but in a far more mystical sense (some people have made the argument that Gnosticism is the “true” Christianity" or at least that arrived prior to the more widely understood forms of Christianity).

Now, another matter pertaining to demonology: Are demons connected to Satan? People who are active in the occult tend to have different answers, but the short answer is no. For me personally, I will preface this matter by saying that the closest thing I have to an external “God” is Lucifer, and although many confuse him for Satan, this is due to major discrepancies and fallacies in translating ancient texts. His real nature is that of the “light bringer,” and he is associated with the planet Venus, with goddesses such as Sophia (in fact, Lucifer could just as well be a female or transcend sex/gender entirely – in Hermetic philosophy, one of the seven principles of wisdom is that everything has a gender to it. This is different from the cultural/socially constructed gender, however). Some schools of thought will consider Lucifer and Satan to be one side of the same being, with Lucifer representing the spiritual side and Satan representing the earthly side, in a similar manner to concepts such as the Trinity. Lucifer and Satan both share similarities and certainly have a number of connections, but whether you view them as the same or not depends on individual belief.

My point in bringing Lucifer up is to say that, in simplest terms, Lucifer is not a demon. He is traditionally considered a fallen angel, once the most glorious and favorite son of God prior to Christ (in fact, there are a number of connections you can look into comparing Lucifer and Christ, much like you can compare any number of figures to one another throughout the whole of religious history – just examine syncretism). Further, some accounts of Lucifer based in Gnostic tradition, which I follow more closely, put Lucifer as separate from being created by God. From here, it is important to understand that whether it be Lucifer or Satan, these figures are frequently associated with commanding demons but if you recall the former points I made about what exactly constitutes a demon, you’ll realize this does not mean that Lucifer and/or Satan are in charge of some sort of chaotic and bloodthirsty horde. Much like numerous archangels play a role in leading other angels/spirits, and much like there are fierce and powerful angels, there is a wide variety to be found in the legions of beings associated with demonology.

Another means of addressing the idea that demons are all just repugnant and frightening creatures is by studying grimoires and various occult works throughout history. If you are interested in learning about demons, the Ars Goetia, one of five books contained within the 17th century Lesser Key of Solomon, is perhaps the most major source of knowledge on the subject. The Lesser Key of Solomon, known either as Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton contains 144 spells, and is separated into the Ars Goetia, Ars Theurgia-Goetia, Ars Paulina, Ars Almadel, and Ars Notoria. The Goetia is heavily inspired by the 1577 Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, which was written by Johann Weyer. Weyer’s work was incredibly thorough and well researched, providing a hierarchy of various demons (e.g. their ranking, their roles, etc) but it was technically written as a means of suggesting that witchcraft does not exist and instead is within the mind, possibly even suggestive of mental illness. At the time of writing this, this was actually a very progressive concept because of course, the typical response to things like witches and spirits was to call blasphemy and devil posession. Other works such as those of earlier occultists like Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa were also considered.

The Lesser Key of Solomon is decidely an “extension” of sorts of The Greater Key of Solomon, dating back to the 14th or 15th century and serving as one of the most crucial texts of Renaissance magic. Whereas the Lesser Key could be considered black magick (at least from a rudimentary perspective), The Greater Key deals more with angels and astrological work. Both texts are representative of King Solomon’s work in constructing his temple in Jerusalem in about 587AD; it is believed that Solomon utilized the spirits to aid in construction (the temple itself has also been argued to be a metaphorical construct, and various connections can be made to psychology or the highly spiritual concepts of Boaz and Jachin, which are important pillars – literally – in numerous faiths). From the Lesser Key, from drawings made by artists like Collin de Plancy and Eliphas Levi, and from the work of writers such as Weyer, you can get a better feel for the incredibly diverse range of demons. In the Goetia, there are 72 major demons (72 being quite an important number). The demons range from tall dark and handsome to horrific. The point is, the Goetia and the whole of demonology is a diverse melting pot that deserves to be studied. In fact, one of the literal translations of Goetia is “jugglery,” which to me indicates that there is a lot of information for those who are interested to play with; there is something to learn from each glance at its text.

With regards to physical appearance of demons, numerous magicians tend to agree on certain characteristics of the major spirits. Each demon has their own unique aesthetic, and it is the work of Jacques Collin de Plancy in particular which shows us their most well-known and popular depictions. Technically speaking, demons are capable of altering their form. In many cases, if the magician performing an evocation commands them to appear or speak in a more human-like form, they will. Some accounts such as those of James Donahue have linked Goetic demons to extraterrestrial sources, even. In more modern forms of magick such as chaos magic, there are ways to manifest/evoke spirits in dramatically differenet ways as well, but all of this depends on preference, ability, and the will of the spirit itself as well.

In any case, it is also important to dispell the notion that all demons are ugly and terrifying creatures. To prove this, researh descriptions of demons such as Stolas (he teaches astronomy and the knowledge of poisonous plants, herbs and precious stones) who is frequently seen as an owl. Caim is another great example, as he appears as a rather silly looking black bird (he is a good disputer, gives men the understanding of the voices of birds, dogs, and other creatures, and of the noise of the waters too, and gives true answers concerning things to come. Truthfully, “terror” is something subjective, as are things such as disgust and repulsion. If someone did not know anything of Christ and saw his corpse nailed to a cross, without the context, they may think it is a demonic symbol itself! And likewise, how a spirit of any kind appears and acts can largely vary in accordance to your mind, to your emotional state, and any number of factors. Sometimes when people have unpleasant experiences with spirits, whether they be demons or angels or anything else, it is possible that their mental state was negatively impacting the relationship; this creates ugliness in the physical and mental world, and is a testament to the fact that if you are trying to do spirit work, you must try and remain calm, collected, and confident in yourself and of course, respectful of the spirit.

Notice how, in any case, that the abilities and physical appereances are not alll that “demonic” in the sense that people are typically used to understanding. And what’s more, the way people commonly view demons is through very distinctly Westernized sources – there are demons in Eastern religions but what I mean specifically is that, the typical portraits of major demons such as Bael, Astaroth, etc. could have possibly looked much less “malignant” had they been constructed in different cultural landscapes; Bael is often depicted as having three heads but they are always shown as rather disgusting. Meanwhile, in Hinduism for instance, certain entities may have multiple heads and yet they have historically been portrayed as looking non-intimidating and far more colorful and psychedelic than Western versions. So it could all be a matter of perspective, and that especially holds true when you consider the Christian church is far more content with letting demons be, well, demonized (to the point of fear mongering and inciting “the flames of damnation” more than any other religion. And to the point of Eastern versus Western aesthetics, it could be very possible that people were having experiences with deities of the opposite faith/geographic location and because they did not understand, therein lies the panic and demonization.

Also, as far as the looks and temperment of demons go, the generalized idea in popular culture is to compare them to angels, but herein lies a bizarre matter: Angelic beings in the traditional sense are not all winged and haloed humanoid beings. Some of their descriptions, straight from the Bible for instance, have portrayed them as rather terrifying creatures. Much like the stories of people who withered away upon seeing the true face of Zeus, Ra, Vishnu, and other ancient deities, angels are complex beings with dramatic features that in some ways, overshadow the “flare” of many demons. Samael for instance has a “height… so great, it would have taken five hundred years to cover a distance equal to it.” The traditional understandings of angels and God as being associated with beauty and lightness is made all the more bizarre to know if you research the Gnostic perspective of the demiurge and Yaldabaoth (essentially the idea that the “God” who created the universe created us inside of a prison system, or that the demiurge represents the illusory and entrapping nature of the physical world, which is cut off from divinity).

What you need to understand with angelic beings and with God, is that just like demons, there can still be a danger in working with these forces because as humans, we posses limited understanding of realms beyond our immediate comprehension: Perform a spell the wrong way, do something heinous, misunderstandings, they could yield negative effects. Likewise, one of the most universally accepted rituals for accessing your guardian angel is an arduous process that takes a whopping 18 months (Aleister Crowley advocates that those who wish to partake in demonology first purify themselves and connect to their holy guardian angels before then diving into the Bornless Ritual, which serves as a gateway to the Ars Goetia).

In any case, I should clarify that I enjoy communing with spirits of all types - demonic, angelic, natural, etc - but my personal preference lies in demons because they are often easier to get in touch with, at least due to my own personal spiritual path. Demons can be thought of as subconscious manifestations of inner wants, desires, knowledge, or even the divinity of the higher self – they don’t have to be external entities that slither into your ears and whisper darkness into your mind. It’s also interesting to forge relationships with demons because it represents the idea of literally confronting your demons – confronting your fears and your psyche. In Buddhism, in the transitional phase of life and death, there may be demons awaiting. If you run and cower, you may be reincarnated in a less than favorable position. Similarly, in Nordic Paganism, the warrior mentality is encouraged in order to enter Valhalla. Even Christ himself faced much torment and madness upon being crucified. It’s an integral part of understanding who we are, our roles, our true wills, but we must learn to overcome fear.

You may be the judge of your own experiences, but I wrote this to help clear up some of the bad air circulating around this topic, and to help instill the idea that we should work in tandem with various cosmic forces, not just limit ourselves to “good” ones, because morality is a blurred line when dealing with matters that extend far beyond human existence and materialism. If you are interested in trying a quick exercise in demonology, my advice is to research demons and find one you like, then look up their demonic enn. A demonic enn is essentially an invitation, request, call, admiration, protection chant for a demon (their origins and their language is largely unknown but major sources include Alexander Willit in the 16th century). For me, if I am looking to get in touch with Lucifer, I will say “RENICH TASA UBERACA BIASA ICAR LUCIFER” which roughly is a protection and cleansing spell on the air around me, and is a means to further invoke Lucifer. You may try saying an enn a few times and see how it makes you feel, if you notice anything; meditate and say it aloud or in your mind (you may call forth a demon but more than anything, enns are meant to establish a rapport rather than necessarily being full scaled invocation or evocations).

Do not fear spirits, they are all around us, chances are they may be around you: Perhaps literally, perhaps figuratively. Awhile ago, I discovered that the word “alcohol” derives from the Arabic “Al-khul,” which translates into “body eating spirit” and is the origin of the term “ghoul.” Notice how when hard liquor is around, it is referred to as “spirits.” The point here is that by consuming alcohol, as a creation of industrialization and commercialization in mankind’s capitalistic state, you are willingly invoking spirits into yourself; the more you drink, the more they overtake your personality and behavior. This is why natural mind altering substances such as cannabis, LSA, San Pedro mescaline, and mushrooms are among the most healing and restorative mind-altering substances (because it can be argued they all possess direct linkage with nature, and more benevolent spirits); compared to alcohol which makes us experience zombie states of consciousness.

My point there is not to stay no to alcohol or non-naturally occurring substances, but to be aware of how they affect you and to make sure that you maintain a strong mind through studying, developing your spirituality and philosophy, honing your critical thinking abilities; make it so that if any dark forces try to contact you, you hang up the phone immediately; retain a strong will, a sense of knowledge and balance, and even if you’re attempting to summon the likes of Lucifuge Rofocale, you will then have the mental fortitude to handle the situation properly.

Magick is no joke. Beyond the nonsensical and cliche imagery of arrogant teenagers who go and draw blood and make circles and light sigils in the woods to dark forces, “just for fun,” there is also the fact that magick can be used to help us better understand our wills, our desires, our hearts, our chakras, our minds, the nature of the universe, who we are, etc. And again, magick is not purely supernatural, it has developed connections to modern science in numerous ways (for instance, the occult has played a role in the development of NASA, quantum physics connects deeply into the realm of metaphysics, it is reflected in psychology and neurology, and so forth). Crowley stated “magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one’s conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.” Everything is connected; as above, so below, the microcosm and the macrocosm, notice the similarities between all systems of philosophical, science, and spiritual thought and conjoin them to truly harness the will and beyond.

Addendum: I believe in the right for all those who are interested in the occult, in magick, in witchery, in Paganism, esoteric mysticism, etc. to be free to pursue whichever avenues of magick they deem appropriate for themselves, whether that means chaos magick, Enochian magick, or anything else out there. This also includes the right for practitioners to perform black magick as they see fit. In accordance to left-hand-path principles, black magick is a valid option to consider so long as you know what you are doing and can use it carefully.

top West Wing one-episode subplots:

  • CJ cons the vicious House of Representatives into investigating the MS instead of letting the fair-minded Special Prosecutor do it
  • a dead homeless man is found with Toby’s old coat, Toby gets emotionally involved, there’s a formal funeral because the man fought in Korea, Mrs. Landingham tells Toby about her sons, I weep openly
  • this was probably more than one ep but Will vs. Hazing
  • CJ vs. the cat figurine
  • Charlie, Bartlet, and the carving knife
  • Donna vs. the 20(?)lb of moose meat
  • Donna vs. North v. South Dakota
  • Donna vs. trying to get someone to vote for Bartlet to balance the fact that she accidentally voted for Ritchie (”It’s an honor thing!”)
  • SECRET PLAN TO FIGHT INFLATION
  • Sam and Mallory re: school vouchers, Chinese opera
  • Toby trying to deal with Andy and simultaneously put together a blue-ribbon commission on labor, and there’s this one jackass who’s being stubborn but Andy accidentally gives Toby an idea for a somewhat underhanded way to deal with him and they smile at each other and they’re still so in love? In a slightly broken way?
  • Toby is struggling with the State of the Union and Will shows up and somewhat unwillingly auditions to help
  • any time, and I can’t emphasize this enough, but any time Jed and Abby are trying to have sex and it keeps getting interrupted
    • Election Night
    • Jed can’t get the radio address right all day, and then he insults Nellie Bly at the last minute
    • I’m pretty sure there’s a third time? Right after he’s cleared for it post-Roswell? Abby ends up catching a plane?
    • one time he’s sick and keeps insisting she’s really hot when she’s being a doctor, god I appreciate seeing middle-age/old people still being adorably in love but also It’s Complicated sometimes
  • Josh and Leo try to get the roof of a temple in Jerusalem fixed on Christmas Eve and I weep openly

a-river-of-stars  asked:

Along with the Jewish funeral rite of Keriah, there is also Christian significance to Dean tearing the curtains. Upon Christ's death, a veil or curtain in the holy temple in Jerusalem tore in two. It signified that with his death, all sins had been forgiven. A quick Google search for "rending of the veil significance" should give you a more detailed explanation.

OH GOSH. Thank you! And wow, that’s just piling on to the metaphorical value of that one act.

http://mittensmorgul.tumblr.com/post/166348444345/just-finished-watching-13x1-and-wanted-to-know-if (the original message about Keriah)

I’m gonna save these two messages for when I have the time to research all of this properly. Thanks!

Francesco Hayez (1791 - 1882) - Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.    

Франческо Айец (1791 - 1882) -  Разрушение храма в Иерусалиме. Венеция, галерея Академии.

JULIAN: THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

Many years before, a man was made deputy of Western Rome on behalf of the Emperor. When the man first arrived to his newly appointed office a woman cried out “This is the man who will restore the temples of the Gods!”

The man was in shock, for he was not a Galilean as his uncle Constantine the Apostate or his mother Basilina. For this man was Julian, a Hellene. A pagan. For now he was in the closet, but even though he did not know it yet, he would one day animate the woman’s word.

Now just over half a decade later, Julian received the news he wanted to hear. He swiftly begun to draft a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus who introduced him to the very Gods that his family abandoned decades ago.

“I worship the Gods openly and the whole mass of the troops who are returning with me worship the Gods.” penned the new Augustus, “I sacrifice oxen in public. I have offered many great public sacrifices to the Gods as thanks offerings. The Gods command me to restore Their worship in the utmost purity and I obey Them, yes and with a good will.”

Julian sat down his writing utensil, his hands trembling in excitement. He looked to the heavens and the Gods gave him a warm smile. Like a lighthouse guiding a ship in a storm, they led Julian on the right path and landed him on the purple. The civil war that erupted across the Empire had ended just as fast as it had begun, a bloodless conflict. Julian’s cousin, the now-deceased Emperor Constantius II who had ruled arbitrarily, the very man who years ago murdered Julian’s own father and brother, was dead, having received Thanatos’ cold embrace in a fever far away from any battlefield. Julian, the Caesar of the West, was now recognized as ruler of the East. Julian was now the sole ruler of Rome.

No longer did he have to shave. No, now he was newly bearded, with all the grace of youth. No longer did he attend a mass to listen to the sermons of a bishop. No, now he publicly embraced the message of Heracles, the begotten son of the sun. No longer did he scribe for someone else’s church. No, now he wrote for his Gods, his philosophy and his temples. In his heartfelt gratitude to the Gods who he felt love for like the family he never had, Julian legalized temples to be built again and public sacrifice to be performed once again. Hellenism was to be made the state religion of Rome again, and with the utmost piety.

Julian entered the capital city of where he was born on December 11, 361 through its Golden Gate as sole Augustus of the Roman Empire. The atmosphere was dreamy and energetic. He could hear the cries of joy coming from his people, who appeared en masse to cheer their new Emperor on.

Temples were constructed and great rituals were performed. He reformed the faith and devoutly organized it. He wrote great literature and sang hymns of praise to the Gods. He both refurbished the Oracle of Delphi and even begun helping the Jews rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. For this is the man who was going to restore the temples of the Gods.

But his time was cut short. After a failed campaign against an aggressive Persia at his country’s borders, he was mortally wounded and laid semi-conscious in bed for three days. He was to die too young to fix the world before it would stop making sense. The light in the darkness was to fade.

An Oracle came before the semi-conscious Emperor who laid in bed. “A fiery chariot whirled among storm-clouds shall carry you to Olympus; loosed from the wretched suffering of men” spoke the wise priest, “You shall attain your Father’s halls of heavenly light, whence you have fallen and come into the body of a mortal man.”

It was June 28th that he was too greeted by a now-somber Thanatos. Serapis came before the dying Emperor and freed Julian from his corporeal bonds. The gentle God lifted Julian’s soul towards the Islands of the Blest; Elysium-bound, through a divine ray of light towards henosis. Helios, the King of All, hugged Julian with warm embrace.


“Whom the Gods love die young.”

-Menander

It’s that time again.

Springtime. The Paschal season. Aviv.

The season of rebirth, renewal, and too much bleeping rain.

The time of flowers blooming, bears waking, trees budding, eggs hatching, and Jews frantically cleaning their homes and screaming this crucial message into the void:

No, Christians, you should not have Passover seders.

“But why?” comes the eternal reply. “The Old Testament is part of our tradition too! Jesus celebrated Passover! Why can’t we?”

Read on, and I’ll tell you.

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